Fall is here, though some of us are still experiencing periods of warm temperatures. While we still have some warm weather left, this is the perfect time to prepare your yard for fall and winter.
Keep the grass tall
Tall grass helps keep moisture during warmer temperatures. Mowing high also decreases turf damage from mowing too short, the grass is more drought tolerant, and more weed and grub tolerant.
Trim and edge
Hedge trimmers and pruners are great lawn care tools. Fall is the perfect time to handle overgrown bushes and shrubs and these tools do just that. Note that cutting old and thick branches promotes the growth of new stems.
Edgers, string trimmers, or brushcutters are also great tools. They enhance the look of your yard and add new definition to the area. They can help stop the entrance of plant roots in your sidewalk and driveway. Once winter is over, it will be easier to reestablish a beautiful lawn.
While there are a variety of blended fertilizers in stores, fertilizing starts with you and your mower. Mow your lawn as you normally would and leave the finely chopped grass clippings on your lawn as mulch. Mulching allows the grass to naturally decompose while allowing nutrients to reach your soil and improve the health of your lawn.
Overseed when needed
Soon your lawn will be covered in leaves, and shortly after covered in snow once winter hits. You don’t want bald spots on your lawn when fall ends so it’s a good idea to overseed now.
If you are overseeding, do not mow high. Instead cut the grass at your mower’s lowest height and bag the mower clippings instead of using them as mulch. This way, the seeds will get maximum contact with the soil and new grass will grow.
Dethatch the lawn
The thatch layer is the layer of dead grass, roots, and debris that accumulate on the surface of the soil. Over time, a thick mat forms and this prevents air and water from reaching the soil. Therefore, your lawn is more susceptible to diseases and pests.
If the thatch layer is over a half inch thick, it should be removed. Most lawns need dethatching once a year. To check if it’s time, work your fingers into the grass and take note of the thatch layer. To remove thatch from your lawn, use a dethatching rake or power dethatcher.
Aerate compacted soil
Lastly, consider aeration. Aerating entails punching holes into the lawn to allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the soil. The goal of aeration is to loosen compacted soil and is needed for lawns that suffer from heavy foot traffic and construction.